7 part series on customer service technology. Part 7 – Next steps for moving the needle on customer service operations

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Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This 7-blog post series focuses on customer service technology – and explains the what, why, how and when why technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3 reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Part 4 focused on the ways that the customer service technology ecosystem is changing.

Part 5 categorized technologies based on their ecosystem maturity

Part 6 focused on what this analysis means to customer service managers

In this final post, I will focus on where do you go from here, now that we know what are the core customer service technologies, their maturity and business value. I would recommend a three step process:

  • Plan for improvements. Assess your current operations against best practices to understand your strengths and pinpoint areas of opportunity. This will help you build a concrete plan for improvements and lay out a technology adoption road map. It will help you answer questions such as “Do I first fix my IVR navigation, launch web self-service, or update my case management solution?” We have assessment frameworks that can help you understand the maturity of your multichannel offerings, knowledge management operations, reporting and analytics as well as your organizational processes. This assessment will help pinpoint the areas of opportunities for better customer service.
  • Act on your findings. With your planning in place, it’s time to choose whether to outsource customer service operations and/or technology, buy it from a vendor, or, in unique cases, build it yourself. This decision is very important, as the vendor landscape is broad, mature, and rife with mergers and acquisitions. Partnering with the right technology provider can make or break your operations. Read this blog post to help understand the steps to take.
  • Optimize. Customer service is no longer viewed as just a cost center. Key success metrics have historically focused on productivity, efficiency, and regulatory compliance instead of customer satisfaction. However, forward-thinking organizations are gradually adopting a Balanced Scorecard of metrics that include not only cost and compliance, but also customer satisfaction, which is more suited to drive the right agent behavior and deliver outcomes better aligned to customer expectations.

Visit our TechRadar report for more information about customer service technologies. And visit our customer service playbook for more information about how to move the needle on the success of your overall customer service operations.

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